Botanist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Florida Ecological Services Field Office, Panama City, Florida
My work is centered on the protection and preservation of federally listed plant species and their habitats. I perform surveys, conduct field research, and prepare mandate documents under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended. My research has focused on the breeding systems of flowering plants, systematics (Rubiaceae & Cactaceae), and plant demography, with applications to conservation and the recovery process of the ESA.
Strategic Planning Committee, Organizational Impact and Visibility priority- member/participant (2021); Human Diversity Committee (2017-2020); PLANTS Mentor (2016, 2018); co-organizer & co-moderator, Botany 2008 Symposium on ‘Pollination to Population Structure - How Understanding Reproductive Biology Can Inform Conservation of Rare Plants’.
Co-founder and co-leader of the FL Rare Plant Conservation Endowment (2014-present); Member of Steering and Planning Committee for Southeastern Partners in Plant Conservation (2015-2016, 2019-present); Member of the technical advice team for the Florida Forest Service State Conservation grants (2008-present); Member of M.S./Ph.D. committees (1995- present), University of Miami, Florida State University, Florida International University, and Miami University (Ohio); Spearheaded the development of a nationwide USFWS Strategy for Plant Conservation (2010-2012); NSF panel member and reviewer (1997, 2006, 2007).
Statement of Interest
I am honored to be a candidate to serve BSA as its President. Conserving plants protected under the Endangered Species Act has been the prime focus of my work. In the face of many stressors, plant scientists in government need to work like never before to meet the challenges head on—to proactively conserve as many at-risk species as possible over the next decade. Given the overwhelming lack of botanical expertise inside government agencies, BSA has the capacity to contribute to this endeavor. BSA has been my ‘to go’ professional meeting since my first introduction to the Society in 1985. Throughout the many talks attended at that conference, I quickly recognized the extraordinary contributions of the Society in facilitating the dissemination of information, sharing science, and providing opportunities for networking, and quickly became a regular attendee at Botany conferences. Given the opportunity of becoming President, I’ll support ongoing BSA activities and assist with the implementation of the most recent Strategic Plan. Through the BSA setting, I would like to take the opportunity to raise awareness of non-academic careers with the objective of increasing botanical expertise within government agencies and advancing the best scientific information for conservation science.
Cullman Senior Curator, New York Botanical Garden.
Botany with interest in anatomy, morphology, development, paleobotany, and floristic and systematic interests in gymnosperms and monocots.
Founding Member of the Legacy Society, First Director of Development, BSA Distinguished Fellow Selection Committee (4 years), Chair of the Kaplan Memorial Lecture (3 years), numerous student awards committees over the years for the Developmental and Structural and the Paleobotanical Sections. I have participated in numerous BSA symposia including those on pteridophytes, fossils, genomics of land plants, and botanical history. Organized fundraising events and meetings and for the northeastern membership. Published my first paper in AJB and 25 more since then. Reviewer of papers for AJB throughout my career. I have received awards from the BSA: Centennial Award (2006), Distinguished Fellow (2010) and the Service Award (2014).
I have served two terms as President of the Torrey Botanical Society, on the Science Advisory Committee – NATURALIS 2008-present, on the Executive Committees of Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) 2014-2020 and Global Genome Initiative (GGI) 2015-present, and, presently, a member of the Cycad Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, IUCN since 1985 (Chair 1990–1996). I have served on numerous panels in various programs for NSF and organized and held NSF workshops. I was Vice President for Science at New York Botanical Garden (2002-2020) and a Founding member of the New York Plant Genomics Consortium. Adjunct Professor at Columbia University (1998-Present), Cornell University (2000-Present), New York University (1995-Present), Yale University (1996-Present), Research Associate, American Museum of Natural History (2016-Present) and a Professorship and Honorary Doctorate, Universíta di Napoli. I have been active in teaching and advising students at these institutions as well as with Tree of Life REU Grants. I have been involved in various journals as Editor of Botanical Review for 28 years, Editor-in-Chief for Cladistics (2008-2020), Editorial Board for FLORA (2006-2012) and, currently, as Associate Editor for PhytoKeys and for Blumea. In 2002, I was made Foreign Member of the Linnean Society of London.
Statement of Interest
I first joined BSA as an undergraduate. I believe that was perhaps one of the most important choices in the long term in the development of my interest and career in botany, both in research and teaching. All my mentors were active in BSA. It was impressed upon me that as one becomes senior in their career, that they should give back to BSA for all they have gained. Moreover, doing so ensures the future of BSA and its impact not just in botany but also for science and society. Now it is time for me to make that commitment. A significant change in BSA since my student days has been tremendous outreach to student participation in meetings as well as student travel awards, research awards, and presentation awards. They, of course, are the future. It is incumbent on us to continue to increase participation in the BSA and continue to strive to move forward with awareness of plants and BSA for society at large in an age where science is in danger of becoming irrelevant. It is clear that continuing to build the Legacy Society and its endowments are necessary for a bright financially stable environment for our leadership in plant science and stewardship of the natural world around us. We have begun quite successfully to develop undergraduate student participation and I would like to see that moved forward at a faster rate. I would like to develop a closer relationship between more botanical gardens across the country and internationally and to have interactive programs with horticultural input for public education.